What is Venous Thromboembolism?

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious medical challenge posing significant risks to individuals worldwide. As a company of licensed cardiologists with years of experience in managing cardiovascular conditions, we think it’s worthwhile to shed light on this complex yet crucial aspect of vascular health.

In this brief article brought to you by Cardiovascular Specialists of York, we provide a basic understanding of VTE, including its causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, and preventive measures. If you’d rather consult with a licensed cardiologist directly, then call Cardiovascular Specialists of York to schedule an appointment or arrange a walk-in for as soon as possible.

Understanding Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism encompasses two interconnected conditions: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

DVT occurs when blood clots form within the deep veins of the body, typically in the legs. These clots can impede blood flow and cause swelling, pain, and potentially serious complications if left untreated.

On the other hand, PE occurs when a clot dislodges from its site of origin and travels to the lungs, obstructing blood flow and potentially leading to life-threatening consequences.

Causes and Risk Factors

VTE arises from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Prolonged immobility, surgery, trauma, cancer, pregnancy, hormonal contraceptives, and obesity are among the common predisposing factors.

Additionally, genetic conditions that affect blood clotting, such as Factor V Leiden mutation or protein C and S deficiencies, can increase susceptibility to VTE.

Recognizing Symptoms of VTE

Early detection means timely intervention. Symptoms of DVT may include pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected limb, whereas PE can manifest as sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate, coughing up blood, and fainting.

Any individual experiencing these symptoms, especially if they have risk factors for VTE, should seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

Diagnosing VTE involves a comprehensive evaluation which may include a medical history review, physical examination, and diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, or blood tests to measure markers of clotting. These diagnostic modalities allow healthcare professionals to accurately assess the extent and severity of the condition and tailor treatment accordingly.

Treatment Strategies

Managing VTE often entails a multi-faceted approach aimed at preventing further clot formation, reducing the risk of complications, and promoting optimal vascular health.

Anticoagulant medications, commonly referred to as blood thinners, are the cornerstone of treatment. These medications inhibit clot formation and prevent existing clots from growing or breaking loose. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may receive anticoagulants orally or intravenously.

In cases of extensive or recurrent VTE, more aggressive interventions such as thrombectomy (surgical removal of the clot) or placement of a vena cava filter may be necessary to prevent further embolization. Throughout the treatment process, close monitoring and follow-up with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a licensed cardiologist, are essential to ensure optimal outcomes.

Consult with a Heart Doctor

If you are concerned about VTE symptoms, then consider consulting with a licensed heart doctor. Call Cardiovascular Specialists of York to get started by scheduling an appointment. Our team is ready to take your call today.


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Sylvia Savoie

Hanover, PA

My mom was seen by Dr. Gilbert. She was treated like a queen. Treated her with respect and dignity and took his time even going through writing the information down so she would have the paper. I can’t say enough and the staff at the Cardiovascular Specialist of York clinic was great and friendly.

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Joann Bernard

York, PA

Dr. Gilbert provided excellent service. Both personable and professional. Went above and beyond to provide detailed explanations that I could readily understand. I've never felt more comfortable and better served. If you need a cardiologist in town, I strongly recommend seeing Dr. Gilbert.

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Karen Canzoneri

Pennville, PA

Excellent experience. Dr. Gilbert gave me a wealth of information about taking good care of myself.  I went into this appointment a little worried but came out relieved after his clear explanation and valuable health tips. If you are looking for the best cardiologist in town look no further than Cardiovascular Specialists of York.

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